Future educators take on Chicago

NJEA Preservice represent New Jersey at NEA Aspiring Educators Conference 

This past July, several NJEA Preservice members had the opportunity to go to Chicago, where they attended the National Education Association’s Aspiring Educators Conference. They all thought it was a beneficial experience. Some of them even wrote about their experiences.  

Devon Schermerhorn, Seton Hall University 

 “I absolutely loved meeting people across the nation and listening to speeches from members of NEA and from aspiring educators who share the same passion for quality education for all students. Not only was this passion strengthened, but I feel I learned so much of how to work toward this goal in my own classroom. I learned to do my part to achieve a quality education for students nationally. I am beyond excited to put what I have learned into practice and to encourage all educators around me to do the same.” 

 Esther King, Stockton University 

“It was incredible to meet so many people from different states and learn about their education systems. It was eye-opening to see the various requirements the teachers must meet to get certified. It truly felt like the representatives at the conference from each state bonded and united within our future profession.” 

Jenna Cooper, Stockton University 

“The Aspiring Educators Conference in Chicago was a life-changing experience. Through attending I learned how to be a well-rounded advocate for my students, how to provide a safe and welcoming space for all students, and how to plan lessons that meet every student’s needs. I also learned about the benefits of community schools, how to deal with stress, and so much more. I am beyond grateful to have had this opportunity to expand my learning and to gather ideas with future educators from across the United States.” 

Bianca Nicolescu, TCNJ 

“The Aspiring Educators Conference has had a true impact on my self-identity as a future educator. Taking part in inspiring workshops allowed me to challenge my perspectives and learn about powerful movements in social, racial and educational justice. As I learned more about community schools, how to better support undocumented and LGBTQ+ students, and as I considered the impact of grading policies in the classroom, I found a medium through which I can now pursue my own research and implement newfound knowledge in my future pedagogy. Finally, the opportunity to connect with other aspiring educators gave me a new support system, which will pave the way for continued collaboration and advocacy work for our nation’s schools. “ 

Victoria Gladstone, TCNJ 

“The invaluable time I spent at the Aspiring Educators Conference reshaped my thinking as a future educator and as a person living in 2022. Not only was I exposed to numerous leaders within NJEA as well NEA and given the opportunity to form bonds with education majors from students around the U.S., I learned a great deal about the current education system through America’s teachers. After teaching virtually through the pandemic to facing social injustice issues head on, teachers hold great strength to succeed in their endeavors. I was pleasantly surprised to meet so many of these wonderful people and hear about their strategies on how to stay motivated and compassionate through one’s career as an educator. “ 

As noted above, all of these students found this experience beneficial. Stay connected with NJEA Preservice throughout the year to learn about more opportunities like this.